Obe Ata (Nigerian Chicken, Tomato, and Pepper Stew)

A tomato sauce glistening with habanero-infused oil increases the taste of tender chicken thighs in Obe Ata, a heat-packed stew from Simileoluwa Adebajo, chef of Eko Kitchen in San Francisco. Fresh ginger includes an underlying brightness to complement the sweet and mildly acidic canned tomatoes.

This Nigerian stew is integrated in a manner in which shows a fundamental Nigerian technique of “triple cooking” meat and chicken. “Hydrate, dehydrate, and then rehydrate,” Adebajo explains. “The flavor is much better.” First, you boil bone-in chicken thighs (or whatever meat you are utilizing) with spices and aromatics. You put the meat in the oven to crisp. Lastly, you put the chicken in the stew.

It’s abundant and robust from the fatty chicken thighs, curry powder, and tomato sauce however lightened up at the end with the addition of herbs. The heat from the habanero is stabilized when you consume it with sweet plantains and rice to make a complete (and super soothing) meal.
Obe Ata (Nigerian Chicken, Tomato, and Pepper Stew)
Frequently asked concerns
What is Obe Ata?
This West African tomato- and pepper-based stew is a staple in Nigerian food. It’s always made with a duo of plump tomatoes, red bell peppers, and chile peppers for heat. This recipe likewise calls for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, but you might likewise discover Obe Ata mae with beef, video game meat, or offal. The spices in this recipe, that include curry powder, Nigerian ata gigun, and dried thyme, construct a lot more taste.

Notes from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen
Find Nigerian ata gigun, a spicy ground pepper, at West African supermarket or online at ekoaketefoods.com. Reserve the remaining spicy oil for frying eggs for breakfast the next early morning or tossing with root veggies before roasting.

Suggested pairing
We suggest serving this stew with a peppery, Rhône-style red, such as McPrice Myers High on the Hog Red.

Make ahead
This meal reheats well on the stovetop. Heat the chicken and stew in a Dutch oven or comparable sturdy pot slowly over medium-low heat until warmed through. Keep it covered while reheating to trap in the wetness and heat.

Active ingredients
1 (28-ounce) can entire peeled tomatoes (undrained).

2 big red bell peppers, approximately chopped (about 1 1/2 cups).

3 cups carefully sliced red onion (about 2 onions), divided.

1/4 cup carefully chopped peeled fresh ginger (about 1 [4-inch] piece), divided.

2 to 3 fresh habanero chiles, stemmed and seeded, if wanted.

5 garlic cloves, peeled.

3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 8 small thighs).

1 tablespoon curry powder.

1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves.

1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided.

4 cups water.

1 cup vegetable oil.

2 tablespoons tomato paste.

1 teaspoon Nigerian ata gigun (dry red pepper).

Steamed white rice and fried sweet plantains, for serving (optional).
Puree canned tomatoes with juices, bell peppers, 1 1/2 cups red onion, 2 tablespoons ginger, habanero chiles, and garlic in a blender till well integrated and primarily smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 ° F. Arrange chicken in an even layer in a large Dutch oven. Top with 3/4 cup red onion and remaining 2 tablespoons ginger. Sprinkle uniformly with curry powder, thyme, and 2 1/2 teaspoons salt. Include 4 cups water. Give a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, exposed, until chicken is no longer pink on the outside, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Transfer chicken, skin side up, to an aluminum foil– lined big baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven up until golden brown and a meat thermometer placed in thickest part registers 155 ° F, about 30 minutes. Get rid of from oven, and reserved.

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium. Include tomato paste, and cook, stirring constantly, until tomato paste darkens, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in reserved pureed tomato mixture.
Include roast chicken, drippings from baking sheet, and 2 cups scheduled broth to Dutch oven. Minimize heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, stirring periodically, until thickened and a big amount of oil increases to the surface area, about 30 minutes. Serve chicken with white rice and fried sweet plantains, if preferred.

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